Teen's amazing close encounter with 'sharks' in the shallows
IT'S A photo that's divided beachgoers but appears to show the moment a Coast teen perfectly captured the image of a shark in the shallows of the region's most identifiable beach.
Sarah Jarvinen's daughter Romy, 14, was in her final days of recovery from a chest infection and was at Mooloolaba Beach at about lunchtime on Tuesday.
Her and a friend had been swimming and were on the rocks just north of the flags, in front of the old Mooloolaba Caravan Park which was recently turned into a carpark.
Ms Jarvinen said the girls had been adamant it was a shark and could see the outline of the shark in the water as it swam just metres from them.
"It's very shallow," Ms Jarvinen said.
"The girls could see it.
"I thought 'gosh, he must be sizeable'.
"They definitely said it was a shark."
Ms Jarvinen said her daughter's friend had let out a yell in surprise when she spotted what appeared to be a dorsal fin close to her daughter, who was perched on a rock.
"It completely made her day," Ms Jarvinen said.
She said her daughter, who was back at school today, was an avid fan of sharks.
The family has lived on the Coast for about 18 years and Ms Jarvinen said they spent a lot of time at the beach.
She was opposed to shark nets and had instilled in her four children a respect of the ocean and the fact they were entering the shark's territory whenever they went out.
But her daughter opted against going into the shallows to try and retrieve an anklet she lost while on the rocks.
Ms Jarvinen said they loved swimming at all beaches on the Coast and this was the first time they'd spotted sharks.
She said they'd previously encountered whales at Dicky Beach and Moffat Beach.
Ms Jarvinen said she was headed to Alexandra Headland and going for a walk around the shoreline today to try and spot them again, and she believed they'd photographed more than one shark during yesterday's encounter.
The photos she posted to a community social media page divided other beachgoers though.
Many are in agreement that it was a shark, but plenty are of the belief the 'fins' spotted were actually eagle rays enjoying time in the shallows.